Stephen Colbert interviewed Salmon Rushdie on the disappearance of book reviews. Except for one brief reference to the Internet that included no judgments (though I did think I saw Rushdie turn up his nose just a bit), the interview stayed on the subject of why traditional book reviews are necessary.
Rushdie's argument--reviews are necessary because they bring books to the attention of the public. In a world where there are so very many books, reviews push some titles out in front of readers.
There was no talk of how book reviews are necessary because critics "have read and studied literature, the great books, and have some outside knowledge to refer to when critiquing our work." There was no wildly taking swings at bystanders (like litbloggers) who have nothing to do with what's going on in the print media.
Perhaps limiting the time for a response to a couple of minutes helps keep a person on task.
Thanks to BookLust for the post.